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Fed Day and Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview
  • Is Natural Gas About to Surge?
  • What Constitutes a Positive Move Post Fed?

Futures are flat ahead of the Fed decision and multiple key economic releases today while int’l shares declined overnight on soft data.

The Eurozone EC Economic Sentiment Index dropped to 100.8 vs. (E) 101.4 in October, a fresh 3+ year low as recession concerns continue to weigh on growth expectations.

The FOMC Meeting Announcement at 2:00 p.m. ET and Fed Chair Powell’s Press Conference at 2:30 p.m. ET will clearly be the main events for the markets today however there are two key economic reports that warrant attention before the bell this morning: Econ Today: ADP Employment Report (E: 139K) and Q3 GDP (E: 1.7%).

Meanwhile, earnings season remains in full swing with multiple important reports due out today: GE ($0.12), SNE ($1.08), YUM ($0.94), AAPL ($2.84), FB ($1.91), SBUX ($0.70), WDC ($0.28), SU ($0.54).

Bottom line, economic data and earnings will be able to influence early price action across asset classes today but where equity and bond markets close will almost exclusively rely on whether the Fed meets expectations, comes across as dovish, or offers another hawkish (and bearish stocks) surprise like we saw back in late July.

Is a Bad ISM PMI Really Worth a 3% Pullback?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview
  • Is A Bad ISM Really Worth a 3% Pullback?

Futures are enjoying a modest oversold bounce despite more trade noise and disappointing economic data.

On trade, the U.S. imposed $ 7.5 billion worth of tariffs on the EU following a WTO ruling.  But, while the headline is scary, this was widely expected and not a new negative.

Economic data was soft again as Japanese and EU composite PMIs and the UK services PMI all missed estimates.

Today the focus will be on economic data and the key report is the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (55.4).  If it badly misses expectations, concerns about a broader economic slowdown will grow further, and that will weigh on stocks again.  We’ll also be watching Jobless Claims (E: 215K) for any signs of slowing in the labor market.

There are also several Fed speakers today, but with rate cuts expected, I doubt they will say anything too material.  Speakers today include:  Quarles (8:30 a.m. ET), Mester (12:10 p.m. ET), Clarida (6:35 p.m. ET).

Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview (The Ideal Number for Markets and a Word of Caution for this Report)
  • Why the Starbucks (SBUX) Guidance Cut Caught My Attention

Futures are sharply higher after the U.S. and China confirmed trade talks will occur in early October (better late than never from a market standpoint).

The talks will be high level, with the three key principles (Liu He, Lighthizer and Mnuchin) all attending.

Economically, the only notable number was German Manufacturers’ Orders, which badly missed expectations, falling –2.7% vs. (E) -1.5%.  But that soft report was ignored on the kneejerk optimism of more U.S./China trade talks.

Focus today will turn back towards data now that we have a confirmation of future U.S./China trade talks, and the key reports today are (in order of importance):  ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (E: 54.0), ADP Employment Report (E: 150K) and Jobless Claims (E: 215K).

As has been the case since the Fed’s “hawkish cut,” good economic data will be positive for stocks, although at these levels the S&P 500 is trading well above the recent trading range, despite a lack of any actual progress in fundamentals.

Jobs Day

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Collapsing Bond Yields Are Boosting Stocks (For Now)
  • Oil Market Update/EIA Analysis

Futures are marginally lower as markets digest Wednesday’s new highs ahead of the jobs report.

Trading Thursday was quiet globally as there was no notable news, and most foreign indices were little changed.

Economic data continued to disappoint, as German Factory Orders became the latest manufacturing reading to badly miss estimates (-2.2% vs. (E) 0.2%).

Today focus will be on the Employment Situation Report and estimates are as follows: Jobs (E): 165k, Unemployment Rate (E): 3.6%, Wages (E): 3.2%.  As we saw on Wednesday (and really all week) slightly disappointing or better than expected data will likely result in the S&P 500 trading above 3000, while a very strong or very weak number will likely hit stocks.

For now, markets are convinced collapsing global bond yields are just reflective of impending dovish central bank policies, and until data gets bad enough to cause worries about the economy, those lower yields will be a short term tailwind on stocks (but longer term problem, according to history).

Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview
  • What the OPEC+ Charter Means for Oil

Futures are rising with EU shares this morning as investors welcome news that Christine Lagarde (largely viewed as a dove) will likely succeed Mario Draghi as ECB President.

In the bond market, global yields hit new lows overnight (the 10-Yr touched 1.94%) on the dovish Lagarde news, but also as China’s June Composite PMI fell to 50.6 from 51.5 in May. The EU data was slightly better than expected, however, which has helped yields stabilize this morning.

Gold is also notably higher by 1.43% today and futures tested recently established multi-year highs overnight thanks to the dovish money flows.

Markets close at 1:00 p.m. today however there are multiple economic reports due out in the U.S. that warrant watching as they have the potential to move markets: ADP Employment Report (E: 140K), International Trade (E: -$53.4B), Jobless Claims (E: 220K), Factory Orders (E: -0.5%), and the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (E: 55.8).

Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview
  • Weekly EIA Analysis and Oil Update

S&P futures are extending this week’s “squeezy” rally in early trade as dovish optimism continues to dominate the tape ahead of this morning’s ECB announcement while economic data was better than feared overnight.

German Manufacturers’ Orders rose 0.3% vs. (E) -0.1% in April while Eurozone GDP was in –line at 0.4% in Q1. Importantly, neither report was inflationary which is allowing the global rally, driven by a notable dovish shift in sentiment, alive today.

Looking into today’s session, Europe will be in focus early as the ECB Announcement is due out at 7:45 a.m. ET and Draghi’s press conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. ET. As long as there are no hawkish surprises out of the ECB, money flows are likely to remain “risk-on” as the U.S. session gets underway.

Domestic focus today will be on the few data points: International Trade (E: -$50.8B), Jobless Claims (E: 215K), and Productivity and Costs (E: 3.4%, -0.8%) as well as Fed speakers: Kaplan (8:40 a.m. ET) and Williams (1:00 p.m. ET).

Again, as long as there are no hawkish surprises today, the path of least resistance is still higher for stocks, although the market has gone from deeply oversold, to near term overbought in a hurry so some consolidation or a modest pullback should not come as a surprise ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report.

FOMC Takeaways (Where’s the Positive Catalyst Now?)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Takeaways – No Discernable Positive Catalysts for Stocks
  • Why This Fed Isn’t Good at Communication
  • Jobs Report Preview
  • Oil Market Update

Futures are tentatively bouncing from yesterday’s late sell off as markets digest an imminent U.S./China trade deal, mixed economic data and the Fed meeting.

Multiple press reports yesterday implied a U.S./China trade deal could be completed next Friday, with the 10% tariffs on 250B in goods immediately reduced.  This meets current market expectations and is already priced in, so there was no rally on the news.

Economic data met low expectations overnight as the EU Manufacturing PMI rose slightly to 47.9 vs. (E) 47.8, but that’s not moving markets.

Today we get a few notable economic reports via Jobless Claims (E: 215K), Productivity and Costs (E: 1.9%, 1.8%) and Factory Orders (E: 1.5%), but none of those should move markets.  Instead, with no major events scheduled for today, traders will be focused on whether the S&P 500 can hold yesterday’s low (2923).  If that support is fails than look for selling to accelerate.